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The Space Elevator is a radical technology for accessing space. The concept was first published in 1960 and was subsequently popularized in science fiction stories. After the discovery of carbon nanotubes in 1991 and subsequent measurements of their strength, the Space Elevator concept moved from the realm of science fiction to science possibility. Now there are small groups of researchers and enthusiasts working to develop the concept and further the development of the Space Elevator.
What is the economic motivation for building the Space Elevator? What is the promise of it, and what are the technological challenges? We can imagine many uses for it, from space based solar power low cost satellites, manned explorations and possible lunar and Martian settlements.